Pure Storage Is A Software Developer, Not A Hardware Developer
For all the features and performance of Pure Storage’s array hardware, Giancarlo said his company is at the heart a software developer with only a fraction of its R&D investment going to hardware.
“Last year we invested 19 percent of revenue in R&D, so it’s certainly the highest in the industry,” he said. “It’s because of our belief that, first of all, technology is important in this space. But secondly, we believe that we’ll be rewarded for this with customers taking us into a wider and wider amount of their infrastructure. But part of that, as you know, goes into hardware. We do have proprietary hardware. The reason why we have the proprietary hardware is we found that traditional SSDs, which were designed to replace hard disks, just did not provide the kind of price performance that we could extract from flash with our own software. ... About 95 percent of our team are software developers. But that hardware really allows us to deliver a product that operates at the peak price performance overall.
“We’re investing in several different areas. One is broadening our product line so that it fits more and more of our customers’ storage needs. Two, is moving upstream in the sense of providing more and more services that would be considered data management capabilities.”